This project, "Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program from Baton Rouge Community College to Louisiana State University," namely LSU-BRCC/BB, represents a strategic approach to increase student retention via bridges providing student access to training at the community college and university levels in Louisiana. Within this proposed project, Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC) will partner with the Louisiana State University (LSU) College of Science and Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) to train and mentor students in the biomedical &behavioral sciences-related disciplines (or in-short, biological-related sciences that include biology, chemistry, physics, math, computer science, engineering, psychology). The vision of this project is to create a successful model for broadening the participation of underrepresented students. The overall goals of this LSU-BRCC/BB project are to increase the numbers of underrepresented students, who complete an Associate Science (AS) in General Science degree at BRCC, transfer into LSU Bachelor Science (BS) in biological-related sciences program and successfully complete the BS degree. During the five-year period of the project (07/01/12 - 06/30/17), BRCC students will be recruited from various biological and biomedical disciplines. Two types of activities will be developed for this project. Type-1, open to all STEM students at BRCC, consists of four components: (1) Recruitment of High School STEM Students to BRCC;(2) Development of a Peer Tutoring Program in STEM Gateway Courses at BRCC;(3) Professional Development for BRCC STEM Faculty Members;and (4) Articulation of STEM Courses between BRCC and LSU, (iv) BRCC Program Entry Summer Boot Camp;. Type-2, only for selected biological-related sciences students (namely Bridge Students or Bridge Scholars), consists of five components: (1) (1) Individual Mentoring Program for BRCC Students at LSU;(2) Summer Research Program for BRCC Students at LSU;(3) Individual Mentoring Program for BRCC Transferred Students at LSU;and (4) Follow-up Support Programs for BRCC Transferred Students at LSU. By building a solid foundation in science and mentoring, our further goal is to motivate BRCC/LSU Scholars alumni to pursue advanced degrees.
Increasing minority student access to education programs is of the utmost importance to American's national public health agenda because of the role that diversity plays in quality education programs, biomedical research including clinical trials, and physician-patient satisfaction. Recognizing that only 20% of minorities who enter science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines actually completed a STEM degree, the proposed LSR-BRCC/BB project will focus on increasing access to STEM higher education for minority students and addressing the national need for well-trained minority scientists who have the ability to contribute to the biomedical research and the national public health agenda. The vision of this project is to create a successful model for transferring Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC) AS Degree students from underrepresented groups to Louisiana State University (LSU) and support their completion of BS degrees in the biomedical/behavior science disciplines;a transformative model that can be adopted by other partnering institutions nationwide.